Butternut Squash Panade
A panade, originally an economizing vehicle for using old bread to feed a family, is a delicious dish in its own right. Essentially a savory bread pudding made with layers of caramelized onions and winter squash, it makes for a hearty meatless main dish. A panade can also substitute for bread stuffing and be served alongside a roasted bird.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 2tablespoons butter
- 3tablespoons olive oil
- 3medium onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
- Salt and pepper
- 4cloves garlic, minced
- 2teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2teaspoons chopped fresh sage
- 12ounces sliced stale country bread (if not quite stale, toast lightly and let cool before using)
- 1pound butternut or other winter squash, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 8ounces Gruyère or Comté cheese, grated
- 4cups water or broth, more as needed
Step 1Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a deep 9-by-13-inch baking dish and set aside.
Step 2In a large skillet, heat oil until sizzling over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until onions are nicely browned, about 5 minutes more. Stir in garlic, thyme and sage, then turn off heat.
Step 3Assemble the panade: Line bottom of baking dish with half the bread slices. Add a layer of cooked onion, then a layer of squash. Season squash with salt and pepper. Finish with a layer of grated cheese. Top with remaining bread slices.
Step 4Add water or broth and press down on the top layer of bread to make sure the casserole is evenly saturated. Add more if needed to soak the top layer. It should be damp but not swimming in liquid.
Step 5Cover with foil, place on a sheet pan and bake, covered, for 45 minutes, until squash is tender. Uncover and bake 15 minutes more, until browned and bubbling on top. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.